Building Character

Matthew 7:6, 12-14

One of the trends now in Christianity is what they call the Gospel of Prosperity. It teaches us Christians that because God is rich, God cannot be outdone in generosity; God is good, if we pray right, we will grant our material needs. One preacher would tell his flock to open their umbrellas, turn it upside down so that they can catch the blessing of God; Another preacher said that if you tithe, God will bless you with more money; Another preacher tells his flock that if they want us all rich because Jesus said that I came, that you will have life and live in all its fullness.

My dear friends while indeed God blesses us with material things, we must remember that this is not what the Gospel is entirely all about. Jesus in fact said that anyone who wants to follow me must pick up his cross. The Gospel tells us to enter through the narrow gate. In other words, Christian life is not easy and three reasons why:

  1. Trust God. Jesus said in this life, one cannot have two masters. He cannot serve both God and mammon. The thing with trusting God is that it takes time. His time, ways and wisdom are different and typically it takes longer. Yet, he never fails.
  2. Suffering is part of Christian life. To carry our cross is not easy: to love the unlovable, to forgive the unforgivable; to give without counting the cost is difficult; to pray when God seems quiet; to always be hopeful even when there seems to be no solution in sight. Yet this is what puts meaning in life.
  3. Humility. “I must decrease while he must increase” were the words of John the Baptist. He was getting to be very popular and people were already mistaking him for Christ. Yet he was humble enough to admit that he is only meant to introduce Christ.

In life, we all want it easy: Lord, let me win the Lotto so all my financial problems will go away; Lord, take this person out of my life, he brings so much problem; Lord, why do I have this sickness and you are not curing me? 

When we go through the many typhoons in life, let us not ask the Lord to take it away. Instead we ask him to give us a strong umbrella, so that we could go through the typhoons of life: Trust God, Joy in Suffering; and Humility.

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